Law Blog

Beware of Key USPTO Deadlines after Trademark Registration

Beware of Key USPTO Deadlines after Trademark Registration

Trademark, USPTO
You applied for trademark registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and, after many months and maybe an Office Action letter or two, you have finally received your fancy Certificate of Registration in the mail. Nothing more left to do but enjoy the spoils of your trademark rights under the Lanham Act, right? Not exactly. Even though you've been granted registration, there are still some critical dates and tasks which, given their length of time away, can be easy to overlook, possibly jeopardizing your registration as well as rights in your mark. For those with a newly granted Sec. 1(a) "use in commerce" registration on the Principal Register, the following chart explains the critical filing periods during which a mark owner must file certain documentation in order…
Read More
Do I Need to Register My Out-of-State Corporation?

Do I Need to Register My Out-of-State Corporation?

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation, Foreign Corporation
If you're an Arizona-based startup that is actually incorporated in another State (for example, Delaware), do you have to register your foreign corporation in order to transact business here in Arizona? This question is more common than you might think in my Phoenix technology startup law practice. Earlier this month, I met with a cloud middleware outfit that had originally formed as a corporation in a state back east. Their U.S., Canada, and Mexico operations had been relocated here to the metro Phoenix area for several months. During our meeting, I asked the client's officer if they had registered to transact business here in Arizona. After a puzzled look amongst themselves, they admitted to me that they hadn't. Like I said before, this occurs more often than I like to…
Read More
Is Customized Software a ‘Work Made for Hire’?

Is Customized Software a ‘Work Made for Hire’?

Contracts, Copyright, Employment Agreements, Independent Contractor
Your company just hired someone to help develop your new mobile app. Your agreement with this programmer or engineer specifically states that anything she creates for your business is a "work made for hire". Your business is good, right? No way that the new hire can ever lay claim to the deliverables, correct? In my Phoenix startup and technology law practice, I get this question a lot as it pertains to software and app development.   Unfortunately, the term "work made for hire" (or, more colloquially, "work for hire") is a term as misunderstood by companies as it is misused. The "Work Made for Hire" Doctrine Explained Generally speaking, a work that is copyrightable is the sole property of the person who created it (and assuming the author has not transferred…
Read More
Does California’s New Data Privacy Law Apply to My Business?

Does California’s New Data Privacy Law Apply to My Business?

Data Protection, E-Commerce, Privacy
Starting January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), far and away the broadest consumer data privacy law passed by any State to date, goes into effect.   What is the CCPA? CCPA grants California "consumers" extensive rights as to how their personal information is collected, stored, and used, as well as gives them a private cause of action against businesses who violate its requirements.   For businesses (including those not even located in California) that collect or process the personal information of California consumers, CCPA includes very specific disclosure requirements for those consumers, as well as stiff statutory penalties for failure to comply.   As with the implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year, CCPA is causing much hand-wringing among owners and management of…
Read More
Is an Electronic Signature  Legally Enforceable?

Is an Electronic Signature Legally Enforceable?

Contracts, E-Commerce
It's no surprise that digital contracts and other records are becoming the norm in not only consumer-facing transactions, but especially in ones between businesses. In this post, we look at the question to what degree is an electronic or digital signature on such documents actually enforceable? Per usual, let me run through the caveats: I am only licensed to practice law in Arizona.  This article only addresses Arizona law.  If you're an e-commerce or other business utilizing digital agreements and signatures in another state or states other than Arizona, I strongly encourage you to consult the laws of those states or a lawyer licensed in those jurisdictions.  The Arizona Electronic Transactions Act In my Phoenix startup technology law practice, I have definitely noticed more and more clients who have chosen…
Read More